Epicurious is changing up its diet to help fight climate change.
The online food publication announced Monday that it has “cut out” beef: The ingredient will no longer appear in new recipes, articles, newsletters or social media posts. The move is meant to be “pro-planet,” because beef production creates large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions, Epicurious Senior Editor Maggie Hoffman and former Digital Director David Tamarkin explained in an article.
“For any person—or publication—wanting to envision a more sustainable way to cook, cutting out beef is a worthwhile first step,” Hoffman and Tamarkin said. “Our shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world’s worst climate offenders.”
Tamarkin recently left the publication, according to his Linkedin profile.
Livestock accounts for nearly 15 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, and beef is the largest contributor to that pollution, according to the United Nations.
The publication has been moving in this direction for nearly two years. Since the fall of 2019, Epicurious has published beef recipes “only a small handful of times,” its editors said in a separate post addressing questions about the decision.
A quick search of the site shows that it has also been offering readers suggestions for beef alternatives for some time: Last Saint Patrick’s Day, for example, a writer suggested to “skip the corned beef” for a potato-stuffed cabbage pie. And for Passover this year, editors compiled a list of 45 main dish alternatives to brisket, including chicken, fish and vegetarian options.
Epicurious said readers are interested in this kind of non-beef content.
Since it cut back on publishing beef recipes in 2019, “our readers have rallied around the recipes we published in beef’s place,” Hoffman and Tamarkin said. “The traffic and engagement numbers on these stories don’t lie: When given an alternative to beef, American cooks get hungry.”
“Abstaining from beef means we can use our resources to focus our recipes on more climate-friendly foods,” the editors wrote in Monday’s FAQ post. “Our hope is that the more sustainable we make our coverage, the more sustainable American cooking will become.”
Old beef recipes will remain on the site but will not be featured on its homepage, Epicurious said.